Gamekeepers need a range of clothing; firstly because gamekeeping is a career often associated with UK heritage many choose to adopt traditional country wear, but it’s also important to keep in mind that gamekeeping is an outdoor and sometimes dangerous job, so if you’re thinking of becoming one you will need to build a wardrobe of clothing that is both practical and traditional.
Consider all the different jobs you will be responsible for as a gamekeeper; each will come with environmental differences that will require different types of clothing. Firstly, of course, you need to be mindful of the weather where you will be working. As a gamekeeper you can spend hours away from shelter, so you’ll need to carry waterproof clothing with you if the weather report warns of it. It’s good practice at the very beginning of your gamekeeper training to get into the habit of checking the weather report. Secondly, although many gamekeepers are fond of the traditional tweed suit, certain jobs may involve wading in rivers or hiking thorough countryside or woodland, so you will need protective clothing specifically designed for outdoor use. There are various work related hazards that accompany gamekeeping, for example when working in slow-flowing rivers it is important to wear wading gear that keeps you dry as rivers of this type can pose the threat of Weil’s disease; a potentially very dangerous illness.
Of course the foundation of your outfit is your footwear. Gamekeepers can cover miles in just a day, so your footwear needs to be suitable for a variety of different terrains. If you are given a vehicle by your employer you will be able to carry different types of footwear to cover all situations. Work boots should be waterproof with shock-absorbing soles to keep you comfortable and dry in all situations, however if you are working near an estate or at a formal occasion where you want to show off your more traditional attire you might prefer something crafted from finer leather such as RM Williams Boots.
You might not consider a heavy coat for winter until the season arises, but it’s important to try on a few different styles to find out what you are most comfortable in, because of course, your coat needs to offer enough movement for you to react quickly to potentially dangerous situations and to use your gun with ease. There is no one right style of coat, as everyone will find they prefer something different. Don’t forget to purchase some baselayers for under your clothing in winter; the weather may be easy to deal with closer to home, but do not underestimate potential temperature drops in the highlands and the hills. If you are in any way uncomfortably cold, you may you’re your shooting or other skills are affected.
Finally when purchasing your formal attire for hunting, consider perhaps supporting your local industry by purchasing tweed made from wool produced in the area. If you are working in Scotland you may prefer to wear traditional Harris or Donegal tweed.
Ultimately however, it’s all up to what you feel most happy in. Some gamekeepers are taking a more modern approach and wearing sports and hiking gear, whilst others prefer to maintain heritage and uphold tradition.